Destruction. Commonly thought of as negative, your success as an entrepreneur rests on embracing destruction.
Capitalism embodies the dichotomy of creative destruction: the necessity that outmoded businesses and inefficient practices will be replaced.
Undoubtedly today everyone agrees there is no reason for companies to make buggy whips since automobiles are the standard mode of personal transportation. But at the time, manufacturers and their employees doubtlessly bemoaned the declining demand and eventual demise of whips.
We are in the midst of what may turn out to be a similar situation. Ever more people get their news online or in digital format. Many newspapers and magazines have seen their print circulation drop substantially or ceased publishing them. In another 20 years will even the most popular periodicals: The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and The New York Times, all with daily circulations exceeding 1.5 million, still issue print editions? Reporters may not be impacted, but what about newsprint and ink suppliers, manufacturers of presses, and the people employed in the process?
As much as I deplore the collapse of printed media, I will discourage my daughter from pursuing a living in this industry or any other that is declining. Rather, I will urge her to examine the opportunities created by the destruction of businesses. Indeed, her greatest chance for success will come specifically because she can replace that which has been demolished.
Herein lies your challenge. Betting on the destruction of a product or industry is by no means a sure thing. Compounding this issue can be your reluctance to accept such demise. Yet the increase in nostalgia products is not necessarily a function of a lack of creativity on the part of product designers. It appears that the more things change the more people yearn for the familiarity of the past. Where then does true opportunity lie?
How you answer this question may determine your entrepreneurial success.
Question – In what waning product or industry do you see opportunity?
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